Ode to Chan
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6/7/06 - Boston, MA, Berklee Performance Center

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6/7/06 - Boston, MA, Berklee Performance Center Empty 6/7/06 - Boston, MA, Berklee Performance Center

Post  Cokelike Sun 16 Sep - 7:35

6/7/06 - Boston, MA, Berklee Performance Center

Intro - 0:31
Soul Serenade - 4:51
The Greatest - 3:36
Living Proof - 3:40
Lived In Bars - 4:02
Could We - 2:28
Empty Shell - 4:02
Willie - 6:05
The Moon - 4:54
Islands - 4:19
Where Is My Love - 3:32
Who Knows Where The Time Goes - 4:24
Wild As The Wind - 3:41
House Of The Rising Sun - 4:15
Hate - 3:18
John, John - 2:44
Love And Communication - 7:20
I Cant Give You Anything But Love - 1:53
All I Have To Do Is Dream - Blue Moon Medley - 2:54
Total Time - 72:37

This was the seventh performance of the tour. After about a month off from the road the band returns to the stage with this concert.

This also happens to be the first concert of the tour for which I have a full recording (There are at least 8 full concerts recorded this year). All of the songs from "The Greatest" are played (except for "After It All"). Thanks to Bradley for sharing this recording with us. It was recorded to minidisc with a stereo mic. There are fades between tracks but its otherwise complete. My copy is mp3 but the quality is great, though maybe somewhat bass shy. Does anyone have better?

The tour for the "The Greatest" was a pretty big departure for Chan. In previous years she played solo and played pretty much whatever she feel like playing at the moment. On this tour the setlist was organized. Just about every show used the same formula of nine "The Greatest" songs ending with "Where Is My Love" as a segue to Chan's solo part of the concert. Following that the band would come back and play a few songs and then maybe Chan would play a few more solo. As such, I wont have a lot to say about the main parts of the concert. The Memphis Rhythm Band are all pro's. I admire their dedication and musicianship. Every show they played with Chan was pretty much on. The more interesting part to me is the solo sections of the concert because thats where Chan would change it up.

"Intro" - One of the few concert recordings I have that actually have someone announcing the band.

"Soul Serenade" - It was noted that the opening concert of the tour back in April had the MRB playing "Oldies" to warm up. I suspect thats what this is because it sounds like a medley of old stuff. Its an instrumental. Does anyone know what songs these are?

"The Greatest" - To loud applause, Chan enters the stage. The strings are present at this concert.

"Living Proof" - There is a short little drum solo in this that is different from the album.

"Lived In Bars" - Of all the songs from this era that use the horns I feel this one works best. They actually sound like what you hear when you lift your head up from a bar at 3 in the morning. I will also always prefer the 60's soul style ending of this to the "rave-up" DDBB versions that would come later.

"Could We" - Sounds like Chan is on guitar again for this one.

"Empty Shell" -

"Willie" - This was always one of the more longer songs from the last two years of concerts. I honestly cant stand the "Have you seen him? Have you seen him?" back-up vocals. I'll always like the solo piano version more.

"The Moon" -

"Islands" - There are a few solos from some band members. In later shows most of the band will be introduced during this number and each take a little solo spot.

"Where Is My Love" - Just piano, strings and Chan. Awesome.

"Who Knows Where The Time Goes" - "Thank you for coming", Chan says, taking a seat at the piano. This is the start of the standard solo section of the concert for the tour. After a verse or two, Chan says "I just bob my head up and down because thats how I am". She stops the song. I think she is refering to someone doing the sound who was thinking she was making a cue for more volume. She then restarts the song. It's good, but I like other versions better.

"Wild As The Wind" - After playing the intro, Chan stops and says "I dont know". She lets out a sigh and continues. There are really two different ways she plays this. One is slow like on The Covers Record and the other is medium tempo like this live version. I like the medium tempo versions because she usually does some fingersnapping or claps at the "You-you-you-you" part and it really adds a lot to the song. Here, she adds a lot of "You"s, almost too many. "How's that?" she asks at the end. The audience loves it. "Thank you, thank you".

"House Of The Rising Sun" - "Hello, I'm Johnny Cash", Chan says imitating his low voice to start this off. She is now on acoustic guitar. She begins playing but then stops and says, "Can we not make it too bright up here, fuck I hate when I do that. Excuse my french." She then starts again. Again, Chan is performing this with her additional lyrics.

"Hate" - Again, Chan is on acoustic guitar. As noted in the reviews, she has changed some of the lyrics from what appeared on the album.

"John, John" - "I love you", Chan says to someone who just told her the same. There are earlier versions of this then-fairly-new song, but this one is the most assured yet. Again, just Chan and guitar. Though it seems complete on the recording due to the way she ends it, she will later perform versions of the song with additional lyrics. "What do you guys think? Should the band come back out?", Chan says.

"Love And Communication" - With the band now back on stage, they kick into this one, the final song of the album. Chan's singing here is awesome and the band is rockin' on this seven minute take. Concert highlight.

"I Cant Give You Anything But Love" - Chan leads a version of this old song popularised by Billie Holiday, with her bandmates and the audience joining in clapping, all a capella. This would go on to be another standard part of the concert. "Tracks Of My Tears" was also done like this. "Sober... Tea....", Chan says, declaring her sobriety.

"All I Have To Do Is Dream - Blue Moon Medley" - During 2006, at some concerts, Chan would play more solo material at the end. She plays this one as an ending for this concert. "Thanks for coming. Thanks for coming, and I hope you guys enjoyed the show", she says.

6/7/06 - Boston, MA, Berklee Performance Center 6-7-0610


Boston Globe Review

What becomes a legend most? In indie rock it's the girl with the most complications: the maladjusted honey-throated waif who can't get through a song, let alone a show, without veering to the edge of sanity. The regular-people rules don't apply to such fragile, fertile souls as Chan Marshall, who has recorded seven albums as Cat Power. Her set on Wednesday for a near-full house at the Berklee Performance Center was riveting, as much for the artist's thrillingly loose grasp of performance etiquette as her beautiful music.

Joined by veteran guitarist Mabon ``Teenie" Hodges and the 12-piece Memphis Rhythm Band, Marshall performed her recent Southern soul album ``The Greatest" nearly in order, leaving out one song. Why alter the chronology just barely and jettison ``After It All"? That's one among many little mysteries that made Marshall's show an enchantment.

At times, actually the whole time, it was like watching two people in one body: the gifted interpreter with a gossamer voice and a twitching, hopping freak. When she wasn't stringing pearls at the microphone (Marshall has traded in her howling for genteel phrasing), the artist was in constant, cockeyed motion -- throwing punches between the gauzy verses of the title song, cracking her knuckles and shoving her sneakers en pointe to pass the downtime on gospel-tinged ``Living Proof," dancing spasmodically during ``Where Is My Love," a languid torch song.

Left to her own devices during a solo encore, Marshall eked out most of a pair of Nina Simone songs. "Who Knows Where the Time Goes" closed with a confused conversation: "I don't know. I don't know," she muttered to the piano before finding the chords to "Wild Is the Wind." A primitive and stunning cover of ``House of the Rising Sun" followed, proving that communion trumps guitar skills when it comes to inhabing the heart of a song.

The final 15 minutes of Marshall's distressing, transcendent performance were its finest. Her changes to "Hate" were small but telling: "I do not hate myself and I do not want to die" she sang, and the addition of the word "not" was comforting -- especially after she canceled an entire tour earlier this year because of medical problems. The band returned for an epic, electric read of "Love and Communication," replete with trumpets and sawed violins and a glam-rock guitar solo, after which Marshall bowed six times, clicked her heels, and lay down. She rose up for a shadow of a fragment of an a capella rendition of "I Can't Give You Anything But Love," raised her pink to-go mug to the adoring throngs and announced her sobriety, and then left us with a picture-postcard cover of the Everly Brothers' "All I Have to Do Is Dream." Indeed, it is.



Before a Cat Power show, the question always looms: what sort of shit is Chan Marshall going to pull tonight? To call Ms. Power a volatile stage performer would be like saying that Anne Coulter is merely unpleasant. Typically, Marshall tremblingly hides onstage behind a greasy-hair veil, aborts songs midway through, and generally has the potential to totally suck.
Last night, June 7, at the Berklee Performance Center could’ve been especially tremulous: it was the first date on a tour rescheduled from last February in support of The Greatest (Matador), that was canceled with a Matador press release citing “health problems” and continuing with the terse none-of-yr-beeswax comment, “Out of respect for Chan’s privacy, we can’t give more detailed information.” For a performer known for “stage fright” — a nice way of describing something we suspect requires monitored meds; see her late-‘90s track “Schizophrenia’s Weighted Me Down” for more info — you had to wonder: would she freak out? Would she cancel at the last minute? Or would she rip open her jeans and show off her pubes like she did for the New Yorker in 2003?

The short answer: the show was downright awesome.

After a fiercely spitting, visually-ugly, but generally kickass opening set from Dexter Romweber Duo (yep, that’s the Dex from Flat Duo Jets), the 12-piece Memphis Rhythm Band took the stage and rolled out an entire instrumental number until Marshall emerged, carrying a pink travel mug and looking like Lady Sovereign’s older sister: side-ponytail (unsmoothed bumps and all), jeans, sneakers.

Marshall can control her breathily gorgeous voice with the ease of a snake-charmer hypnotizing a cobra; meanwhile, she can barely control her own body. While she sings, her gestures are twitchy and nervous, as if to escape herself, ignore the anxiety lapping at her feet, occupy her mind with something other than her insecurities. So for the first six or so songs from The Greatest, she fidgeted like a boozehound in withdrawal. Scratching her neck like her skin was covered in bugs. Coughing. Grabbing the crotch of her pants. Crouching down to tie her shoelaces. Wiping her brow. Snapping. Joining an invisible kickline. Chicken-dancing. Bunny-hopping. Moonwalking. Flinching at the microphone as if it were an open flame. Running away from it to the stage’s shadowy corners during the instrumental measures. Folding up her shirtsleeves like a CEO about to do the dirty work. And while plenty of critics love to say that her mannerisms are more annoying than endearing, here, amid the purple glow and strings and pedal steel and back-up singers and flirting trumpet, Marshall was all at once tremulous, joyous, and downright adorable — like a junior-high spelling bee, but much prettier.

Things did threaten to derail when the Memphis Rhythm Band briefly left Marshall alone onstage. Plopped at the piano, she began the Richard Thompson tune, “Who Knows Where the Time Goes?” but interrupted herself after a few bars. “I just bob my head up and down, that’s the way I am,” Marshall informed an offstage presence who’d misinterpreted her recurrent nodding for a roadie request. Marshall’s apparent anxiety had ever-so-slightly slipped away, but the broken continuity forced its return. She fudged a few measures on the piano. She chided herself, stopped abruptly. Looking around at the handful of music-stand lights illuminating the stage at the start of “House of the Rising Sun,” she exasperatedly complained, “Can we make it not so bright up here?”

Fortunately, the unease was momentary. After covering “Hit the Road Jack” (intermittently substituting her own name in the chorus), the band returned to calm her again, leading her in the gorgeous crescendo of “Love & Communication,” the finale of The Greatest. And at that moment, it was.

Then at the lip of the stage, side-by-side the band members who’d joined her for a Rent-style goodbye-until-the-encore singalong, Marshall thanked everybody for coming, pointed at her mug, and said, “Sober! Tea.” Hmm, those kinds of health problems.

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Thanks : 17
Date d'inscription : 2012-02-14

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